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Will this Chelsea man ever get his mojo back?

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When Fernando Torres signed for Chelsea he did so ‘to win trophies’. Despite, establishing himself at Liverpool as one of the best strikers in Europe he never managed to lift a trophy. An affliction he also suffered at Atletico Madrid.

Since moving to Chelsea he has struggled to make the sort of impact that Roman Abramovich must have hoped for when he parted with £50million. Indeed, Torres was supposed to be the man to fire the goals that would turn the stumbling Blues back into genuine challengers.

But, so far this hasn’t happened. Torres has cut the same frustrated, sometimes isolated figure at Stamford Bridge that he did at Anfield in the final few months of his Liverpool tenure.

But what has gone wrong? After all, they say ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’. But how long can bad form continue before it exceeds ‘the temporary’. From his January move to the end of last season Torres rarely looked like scoring (managing only one in fourteen league games). The media is an opportunistic beast and it didn’t take them long to target Torres. With each game in which he failed to scores the chorus’ grew in which he was described as a flop and a bomb. To me this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where the striker, already low on confidence is harangued by the media, which in turn shaves even more confidence, resulting in more abject performances.

People assumed Torres would slot seamlessly into the Chelsea formation of 4-2-3-1. After all he spent the majority of his Liverpool career as a lone striker. The difference being that, at Anfield he played with Steven Gerrard directly behind him. In Liverpool’s finest days those two were Liverpool’s sole attacking threat (the midfield and the auxiliary ‘wingers’ were expected to contribute more to the solidity of the defence). Torres flourished with Gerrard. The Spaniard’s movement, probably his most potent weapon often picked out by Gerrard’s excellent passing. Also, Torres’ pace meant defenders were inclined to drop deep, but in doing so gave Gerrard space to shoot from distance.

At Chelsea, Torres is surrounded by more attacking options. As lone striker he had Malouda to his left, Anelka to his right and behind him Frank Lampard. For me, the problem was that there were too many attacking players around him. With Malouda driving in from the left, Anelka (despite his starting position) still a striker and Lampard forging ahead from midfield as well, there wasn’t enough space for Torres to move and drag defenders. This formation worked with Drogba because his imposing physique allowed him to be employed as a pivot and he was dominant in the air, leaving the other players to feed from him.

Attempts were made by a desperate Ancelotti to adjust the formation but all this achieved was to put the rest of the team out of rhythm and before long the manager made the decision to drop Torres.

After a summer off (following World Cup and Confederation Cup commitments in the last two summers respectively) people predicted Torres would be fully-fit and rested and as a result sharper for the 2011-12 season. The skilful Juan Mata was also brought in to increase creativity (as was the protracted but fruitless move to sign Luka Modric).

An away day at Stoke saw Torres look sharper and hungrier but still brought no goals. Indeed his performances this season have been much improved. Most recently he got two assists in the Champions League game against Leverkusen. However, there are still no goals and as of writing his Chelsea record stands at twenty-two games – one goal.

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3 comments
  • Marc_the_Red says:

    Hysterical! He’s 4th best on the depth chart in reality because Anelka scores more than he does. He lived off Gerard’s brilliance, and then he got injured, had surgery, and another, and then tried to come back too soon for the WC. He’s been shi**e ever since. He’s lost more than just a yard of pace, he’s lost the most important thing he had, the fear factor. He used to be able to make Vidic pee himself before games, now Torres won’t even scare Phil Jones. Without the pace and instinctive chemistry with SG, he’s proven to be less than average, and the biggest waste of money ever. Not that he wasn’t worth buying to try, but 50M on a striker who had been off form for 18 months and had a history of injuries and ego issues? Typical RA, money is no object when you have no sanity. He should look up the Einstein definition on insanity. Roman doesn’t understand it because he keeps doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. He does the same with his managers. Chelsea is a paper tiger who will fold in the 2nd half of the season due to a lack of depth and old legs.

    YNWA!! GO REDS

    • Eidur says:

      Depth chart? Must be a yank, hence the convoluted nonsense you just posted. He isn’t playing badly because he’s without Gerrard, he’s playing badly because Lampard is average.

      • Marc_the_Red says:

        What does being a Yank have to do with seeing truth? BTW, soooo tired of the Brit bias on here. Is the rest of the world also blind Chelski-boy? I don’t even care what excuse you want to make by January he’ll have gone a year, and you will still be making excuses. Try removing those blue-tinted glasses once in a while, your vision is guaranteed to improve. Oh, btw, Drogba, Anelka, and Sturridge should ALL play ahead of Fernando Torrid, so yes, 4th in depth.

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